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How to Elope in North Carolina: Your Ultimate Guide to a Perfect Elopement

How to Elope in North Carolina How to Elope in North Carolina

For couples who want to be able to celebrate their love in peace, eloping in North Carolina is a wonderful option where they can feel like it’s just them and the beautiful scenery that borders the state. Whether you dream of reciting vows atop a quiet mountain peak, on the beachfront next to incredible waves or within a mesmerizing historical setting — North Carolina provides breathtaking views for your special day. Because of that, I am so excited to share this ultimate guide on eloping in North Carolina with you and it will give a complete breakdown of everything from the best locations across state lines down to how NC legally allows an exchange for money!

Why Elope in North Carolina?

Diverse Landscapes

With everything from towering Blue Ridge Mountains to sandy Outer Banks beaches, North Carolina is a true wonderland. No matter if you love nature or beaches, where so much of the beauty lies in between them will be more than enough to say I do.

Romantic Venues

North Carolina has a plethora of stunning elopement-ready sites from quaint bed and breakfasts to ancient estates, scenic overlooks, etc. To help you navigate these choices, here is a comprehensive guide on how to elope in North Carolina, ensuring your special day is perfect in every way. Most of these spots also have elopement packages so your day will be easier to plan.

Mild Climate

With a more mild climate in North Carolina you will be able to plan your elopement at almost any time of the year.

Choosing the Perfect Location

Blue Ridge Mountain view from Asheville

With its thriving arts scene and beautiful mountain views, Asheville is a top choice for elopements. Blue Ridge Parkway has a number of lovely vistas to conduct an intimate ceremony. Other surrounding towns like Black Mountain and Boone also offer enchanting locations set against picturesque landscapes.

Best Spots:

Craggy Gardens: Panoramic views and a rhododendron garden that blooms in late spring.

Max Patch: A scenic bald mountain offering 360 degree views perfect for an elopement ceremony.

Biltmore Estate: A historic location with beautiful gardens and architecture.

Outer Banks

The Outer Banks are a lovely oceanfront spot for beach elopements. Home to sandy shores, historic lighthouses and with its peaceful atmosphere the region is famously awaken by birdwatchers in their droves.

Best Spots:

Cape Hatteras National Seashore – One of the best, most remote beaches in America flanked by Cape Lookout and iconic lifeguard stands.

Jockey’s Ridge State Park: East Coast Sand Dunes.

Ocracoke Island This is one of the most charming, but also remote vacation destinations with some pristine beaches.

Raleigh and the Triangle

The Right half would say this: The Triangle, Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill is Urban/Nature. Their elopements range from verdant gardens to historic sites and refined city parks.

Best Spots:

OTHER PLACES TO VISIT IN DURHAM North Carolina Sarah P. Duke Gardens – This 55-acre botanical garden at Duke University is gorgeous and worth a visit no matter what time of year it is!

JC Raulston Arboretum (Raleigh) – A wide range garden that includes plants you won’t see in other gardens.

Coker Arboretum (Chapel Hill): If you want an intimate garden, this may be the place for your ceremony.

Coastal North Carolina

North Carolina Coast – If you want an elopement with a beautiful beach view and the fresh smell of saltwater, why not do it on North Carolinas lovely coast. From beautiful towns, historical sites and clear beaches, it has something to offer every couple.

Best Spots:

Again, Wilmington: The historic downtown area and a short drive to Wrightsville Beach.

Bald Head Island: no cars and beautiful beaches give at this island a serene atmosphere.

Beaufort: Coastal town with historic downtown and photo-worthy waterfront views.

Elopement Laws in North Carolina

Marriage License

In order to be married in North Carolina you need a marriage license from the county register of deeds office. Here’s what you need to know:

Application– Both parties shall appear in person to apply for the marriage license

A photo Id (driver’s license, passport or state ID) and your social security card/number

Costs: A marriage license costs from $60 to $70, depending on the county.

No Waiting Period — in North Carolina, you can get married as soon as your license is issued.

Expiry: The Marriage License is good for 60 days


Your ceremony may be officiated by a religious leader, magistrate or authorized officiant in North Carolina. Make sure that the officiant is recognized under state law to perform a wedding.

Planning Your Elopement

Choosing a Date

Select the date Depending on where you want to elope, time of year is a great consideration. Spring and fall, in particular due to the moderate temperatures even more scenic nature are usually much frequented. Summer might work best for a beach elopement, and winter is great if you want to be cosy in the mountains.

Selecting Vendors

Even with an elopement, you may still want to bring in a few vendors that can help make it your special day. You might want to hire a photographer for the memories, a florist flowers and of course your hair & makeup done so you look like perfection.

Creating a Timeline

No matter what, elopements are obviously much simpler than their two-hundred-person counterparts, but you still need a timeline of sorts. Take into account how long it will take to get ready, and travel time heading out of your home or hotel room through the ceremony site as well as for post-ceremony events/photos.

Personalizing Your Ceremony

Arguably the best thing about eloping is that you can make your ceremony exactly what you want it to be! My best advice is to write your own vows, if you can, and take the ceremony anywhere that means something to both of you as a couple and include any traditions or elements that are specific/special/about just about the two of you.

How to Have a Stress-Free Elopement

Hire an Elopement Planner

Hire an elopement planner that focuses on small weddings. With them, they can help you locate the perfect spot, suggest suppliers and control all logistics just so that it does free up on time for one another.

Keep it Simple

One of the biggest reasons why people choose to elope is its simplicity. And since this is true, why not take the next step and really focus on what matters to you. Step three: Focus easy Hard right?

Communicate with Loved Ones

You can still celebrate with loved ones when eloping. Maybe even send announcements or invite loved ones to a mini party after for them all to be able to participate in your joy.

Enjoy the Moment

Savour each moment of your elopement day. Pause and take in the views as you walk, love your newfound privacy during jaws wedding ceremonies or enjoy ring exchange while kicking off a new chapter of life.

Sample Elopement Itinerary


8:00 AM – Have a late breakfast to begin your day.

9:00 AM – Get a Blowout and Makeup Done

11:00 AM: Retail boutique open for pick-up of flowers, etc.


12:00 PM – Arrive at your elopement spot.

1:00PM- Meet up with your officiant and those few cherished pics before the ceremony.

1:30 PM: Elopement ceremony.

2:00 PM Ceremony // Location Formal portraits


4:00 PM Head to a restaurant close by and celebrate.

6:00 pm – Go for a Nice Scenic Walk or Some Tourist Site.

11:00 PM Head back to hotel and have a cosy romantic night


An elopement in North Carolina can be an intimate and off beat start to a new couple happily ever after. A dream elopement full of rich backdrops, placid areas and multiple options to choose from – that is North Carolina. Using this guide, and keeping what is essential to you both in the centre of it all, you can build a day that is special like nothing else!

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